vegansaurus!

03/08/2011

Happy International vegan Women’s Day!  »

It’s International Women’s Day! Huzzah! I’m a woman, she’s a woman, wouldn’t you like to be a woman too? You see pals, your friend Megan Rascal was born a feminist. From jumping off the couch in a cape declaring, “Woman Man!” to hanging out at my mom’s all-female socialist print shop, I was living in it from day one. That’s why I am very excited to celebrate International Women’s Day with you! Being a woman and a vegan rules. In lots of other movements, women get pushed to the side! But not in veganism! Basically, we run shit. So let’s talk about some great female vegans!Coretta Scott King: Vegan in the last 10 years of her life, Coretta Scott King carried on her husband’s message of tolerance. She spoke out for civil rights, whether it was against the apartheid or in favor of LGBT equality. Basically, she ruled.

Ellen Degeneres: Ellen is the new American Sweetheart. It’s impossible not to like her. And now that she’s vegan? Please. I’m in love. I remember when Ellen came out on her sitcom, everyone was like, “oh no! Her career is over!” Ha! All those people can suck it now because she’s the biggest thing since Oprah.

Ingrid Newkirk: Say what you will about Peta but it’s a force to be reckoned with. As founder and president, Newkirk is super-active in her organization and one of the most well-known animal activists in the country. Even if you oppose their methods, Peta is quite a success story. They are one of the most efficiently run nonprofits I’ve ever heard of (nonprofits are my people) and have more than 2 million members and supporters.

Carol J Adams: Author of Sexual Politics of Meat, Adams is the ultimate vegan feminist. Basically, Adams knows the Man is keeping us down, whether you are a woman or a chicken.

Breeze Harper: With her blog and book Sistah Vegan, up-and-comer Harper challenges race, feminist and food politics. Dang! That’s a lot of work! And she’s not slowing down—I love the cover of the not-yet-released Sistah Species.

Isa Chandra Moskowitz: Moskowitz is top of the pops when it comes to vegan cookbooks. From NYC punk to best-selling author, Moskowitz typifies the fun, food-enthusiast attitude of the young modern vegan. Plus, her book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World really did take over the world!

So, who is on your female vegan list? Let’s celebrate some plant-loving women!

[Poster from my mom’s old print shop, Omega Press]

01/24/2011

Ms. EveeDream, vegan queen of A Fresh New Stomach, made cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for her coworkers. Naturally, they adored the little baked beasties and are begging her for more.
I swear, someday cupcakes really will take over the world. Not cupcake-bakers, but actually sentient cupcakes. It’s inevitable.
[you might also send me your luscious vegan food photos, were you so inclined!]

Ms. EveeDream, vegan queen of A Fresh New Stomach, made cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for her coworkers. Naturally, they adored the little baked beasties and are begging her for more.

I swear, someday cupcakes really will take over the world. Not cupcake-bakers, but actually sentient cupcakes. It’s inevitable.

[you might also send me your luscious vegan food photos, were you so inclined!]

01/21/2011

That sexy, sexy cupcake is from Sweet Elites, a VEGAN BAKERY in FRESNO. Your eyes do not deceive you, there is a VEGAN BAKERY in FUCKING FRESNO. Do you know what this means? Oh, it’s ON, world! The vegans are coming up! Our future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades! While eating our VEGAN CUPCAKES in FUCKING FRESNO. It’s a good* day, folks.
*ish. There’s always something to complain about!
[Tip from the delightful Cupcakes Take the Cake!]

That sexy, sexy cupcake is from Sweet Elites, a VEGAN BAKERY in FRESNO. Your eyes do not deceive you, there is a VEGAN BAKERY in FUCKING FRESNO. Do you know what this means? Oh, it’s ON, world! The vegans are coming up! Our future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades! While eating our VEGAN CUPCAKES in FUCKING FRESNO. It’s a good* day, folks.

*ish. There’s always something to complain about!

[Tip from the delightful Cupcakes Take the Cake!]

01/14/2011

Olivia of Do You Want Whole Food, or Do You Want the Truth? made these super-scrumptious-looking cookies & cream cupcakes for her sister’s 18th birthday. Awesome sister, great job, Olivia! She used recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and reports that they were indeed “marvelous.”

Olivia of Do You Want Whole Food, or Do You Want the Truth? made these super-scrumptious-looking cookies & cream cupcakes for her sister’s 18th birthday. Awesome sister, great job, Olivia! She used recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and reports that they were indeed “marvelous.”

01/02/2011

Red velvet and golden vanilla cupcakes: from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Melissa the Vegenista! Love the golden sugar!

Red velvet and golden vanilla cupcakes: from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Melissa the Vegenista! Love the golden sugar!

12/31/2010

Reader Devin “finally tried a recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World,” which effort resulted in this chocolate cupcake with chocolate mousse frosting and a blackberry topping! Devin says “it came out fantastic, and the omnivore family members loved it!” It is one adorable cupcake!
[Are you making something special for new year’s? Send us a photo!]

Reader Devin “finally tried a recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World,” which effort resulted in this chocolate cupcake with chocolate mousse frosting and a blackberry topping! Devin says “it came out fantastic, and the omnivore family members loved it!” It is one adorable cupcake!

[Are you making something special for new year’s? Send us a photo!]

11/15/2010

Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Week nine: VEGAN Battleship Chocolate Bundt Cake with Sour Cherry Compote!  »

Does our ninth guest chef really need another introduction? You guys, it’s TERRY HOPE ROMERO! She is a PROFESSIONAL. She wrote her own post! She commented on the episode! She veganized AND personalized the original recipe so you will want to and be able to make it yourself. Did she time her recipe to sync up with National Bundt Pan Day? Possibly, the woman is magic. And here she is!

When Vegansaurus asked me to participate in the veganization of the most recent winning recipe of Just Desserts it was my perfect excuse to pull away from the computer and open up a fresh bag of vegan sugar. And of course vicariously live through the pain and triumph of the contestants, but at home and without the fuss of wearing pants. Who knows, maybe you’re not even wearing pants while reading this post. But I know you like dessert; either way I now salute you with cake.

However, last week’s show was a nightmare of confectionery request: teetering towers of anniversary sponge layers, buckets of fondant and food coloring (oh, Zac), all smothered in mounds of buttercream. Where are the glistening crèmes, chocolate ganache or decadent tortes, Just Desserts? How mean a challenge was that? And don’t get me started on decorating: after baking thousands of cupcakes by now, with a pastry bag full of frosting I don’t often go beyond a swirl or a dollop. Who has precious time to spare when honest, tasty vegan cake is what the world needs right now?

This to-the-point recipe stars a fluffy chocolate cake brushed with brandy syrup. Syrup-brushed cakes stay fresh longer, plus you have the thrill of soaking dessert with booze. I love the easygoing joy of serving cake with ice cream: pair it either with homemade Greek-style frozen soy yogurt, or your favorite vanilla soy or coconut-based ice cream. Chocolate and cherries is a favorite combo of mine too, so the sour cherry compote (also kinda Greeky) stays. It’s the ideal compliment to the sweet cake and tart, gently sweetened soy froyo.

I do like cake, even if I sound a little curmudgeonly, and my preferred way to enjoy it is pure and with a modest touch of creamy or fruity, like in this recipe. The buttercream may be gone, but I’ve kept the “battleship” name in honor of the awesomely strange and bold choice of chef Danielle’s serious grey tint for the frosting of her winning monument to octogenarian love. An unfrosted Bundt cake embodies that certain something—massive, tall, and ready for both love and war. Seriously chocolatey dessert warfare, that is.

Battleship Chocolate Bundt Cake with Sour Cherry Compote
makes one cake; serves 1 cake monster or 12 others
Time: 45 minutes bake, about 10 to mix

A Bundt pan adds a badass sculpted look to this tender, fluffy chocolate cake that gets additional depth from modern-day chocolate soy milk and old-fashioned strongly brewed coffee. Serve naked as-is, or tastefully dress it up with a brushing of brandy syrup and swoosh of sweet & sour cherry compote.

Ingredients
Cake
3 Tbsp. finely ground flax seed
1 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
1¼  chocolate soy or almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup canola oil
1 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
(tip: Brew extra-strong coffee, stronger than you could actually drink, for a fully flavored cake)

Brandy Syrup
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup water
2 Tbsp. brandy (Metaxa is Greek brandy if you want to keep the theme going)

Sour Cherry Compote
8 oz. dried cherries
2 ⅓ cups pomegranate juice drink
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
fresh lemon juice

Instructions
Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Spray a 12-cup Bundt cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large measure cup combine hot coffee and ground flax seed and set aside for 5 minutes, then stir in chocolate soy milk. In a microwave-safe, large bowl melt chocolate at 50 percent power (or melt chocolate over a double boiler, whatever works for you) for 45 seconds to 1 minute, then stir chocolate with a rubber spatula until melted. Stir in canola oil and sugar and mix to thoroughly combine.

In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Form a well in the center, scrape in the chocolate mixture and then pour in about half of the coffee mixture. Mix just enough to moisten ingredients then add remaining coffee mixture, stirring to combine. Do not over mix, only make sure no remaining dry flour mixture remains. Pour batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to get every last drop from the bowl to the pan. Bake undisturbed (no peeking!) for 45 minutes then test center of cake with a wooden toothpick: toothpick should come out clean—a few crumbs are OK. Do not over-bake cake. Remove cake from oven and cook in pan for 15 minutes. Place a serving plate on top of cake and invert pan, lightly tap top of pan before removing. Allow cake to cool another 10 minutes then brush with brandy syrup. Brush with syrup several times, making sure to cover both outside and insides of Bundt cake.

Brandy Syrup
In a small saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, cool for 2 minutes and stir in brandy.

Cherry Compote
Heat pomegranate drink in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming and simmering. Add cherries, turn off heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. In a food processor puree cherries into a chunky mixture with agave nectar and wine vinegar. Taste and adjust sweet/sour flavor with lemon juice and more agave if desired. Compote will thicken slightly as it cools.

Frozen soy yogurt with orange flower water
Serves 4 to 6

In homage to Danielle’s intriguing Greek yogurt ice cream here’s a simple frozen soy yogurt lightly sweetened with agave and flavored with orange flower water. Remember that orange flower water does not taste like oranges: it has a light floral flavor commonly found in Mediterranean sweets. Can’t find it? Omit it and add more vanilla extract (or a little almond extract).

This soy frozen yogurt should be served immediately after freezing in the ice cream maker. If packed and frozen for more than an hour it will get overly hard and require thawing. Either way, this froyo is tart and light; add more agave for a sweeter yogurt or use sweetened plain soy or coconut yogurt.

Ingredients
24 oz. plain soy or coconut yogurt, unsweetened or sweetened
½ cup or more to taste light agave nectar
2 tsp. orange flower water (not orange extract!)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions
In a mixing bowl beat yogurt until smooth, then stir in agave nectar, flower water and vanilla. Taste and adjust sweetness by adding more agave if desired. Freeze according to ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions, about 25 minutes should suffice for a firm frozen yogurt. Serve immediately with cake and warm compote.

To serve, use a very sharp, think knife to slice cake into thick slices and serve with 2 or 3 generous tablespoons of warm cherry compote and a scoop of frozen yogurt/ice cream. Serve immediately! Great with dark roast drip coffee or strong Greek-style coffee.

Terry Hope Romero bakes her cake, eats it too and likes to pretend she’s cooking on a pirate ship when in her home kitchen base in Queens, NYC. She is co-author of Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and her most recent book is also her first solo, Viva Vegan! 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers. Visit her at veganlatina.com.

11/10/2010

Top Chef: Just Desserts, episode nine airs tonight, and our ninth chef is revealed!  »

The ninth episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts airs on Bravo tonight (10 Eastern/Pacific), which means that we’re ready to unveil our ninth guest chef who will veganize the episode’s winning dessert! See the first eight here: Chocolate mousse! Mini cheesecakes! Margarita bombes! Toffee brownies! Chocolate cake! Fried pie and ice cream! White chocolate mousse! Panna cotta! Rice Krispy bars coated with chocolate and hazelnut butter! Red hot macarons! DO IT. Our next chef needs no introduction but you know we’re verbose, so:

Terry Hope Romero is fucking amazing! Seriously, she’s already co-authored your favorite vegan cookbooks (That’d be Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar), but she also recently published VegNews' 2010 Book of the Year, Viva Vegan! Seriously, every single one of her cookbooks is The Best Ever. I’d probably bet my life on the fact that you own at least one of her cookbooks. Not only that, her twitter is hilarious and adorable, and everything about her is totally rad. Also, we’ve heard a rumor that her partner in delicious crime, Isa Chandra Moskowitz (OMG the new PPK is beauuutiful!), might be teaming up with her on this one? We are seriously jumping up and down over here, and you know what cynical assholes we are so this is kind of a big deal.

We’re thrilled to see what Terry does with the crazy challenges that Top Chef: Just Desserts throws her way tonight. Luckily, the bon bon challenge below is the Quickfire, so you know we won’t be torturing her with making something that normally takes two days in five minutes. 


[can’t see the video? watch it on vegansaurus.com!]

04/30/2010

Interview: Livia Stone!  »

Livia Stone is THE BEST for tons of reasons. I’ll name a few because that’s what this whole “Interview a Veg*n*” thing is about and if I’m anything, it’s somewhat competent at my non-paying blogging job. Livia is a vegan who works in animal welfare and thus, spreading the veg love in a community that loves animals but doesn’t always know that the best way to love them is not to eat them. She is the hospital manager at WildCare Bay Area, the only place to take injured and/or sick wild animals for good quality care in the SF Bay Area (they even take pigeons and mice and skunks!!). Seriously, if you ever find a wild animal in need of help, CALL THEM! She’s also just an awesome friend and the all-around bomb. We love her and you will too or else you are an idiot and shouldn’t be on this site anyway, idiot. Oh also, if she’ll be at the Farm Sanctuary California Hoe Down this Saturday so if you see her, HOLLA!

Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
Initially I went veg because I realized I didn’t need to kill or exploit animals to live, but as I learned more—especially about the environmental impact of animal agriculture—I can’t believe anyone who is interested in going “green” doesn’t give up or at least reduce the amount of animal products they consume.

How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
I’ve been vegan for 10 years. I had been vegetarian already for several years, but that impulse was based entirely on compassion. When I started learning about the issues, I knew I needed to do more.

You work in the hospital at Wildcare (one of the beneficiaries of the May 8 SF Vegan Bakesale!) with wounded and sick wildlife; got any amazing/crazy/inspiring stories?
Definitely some crazy stories, usually on a daily basis. Rescuing an animal is often a transformative experience for people—and that’s very inspiring. I see a lot of cruelty and apathy, and so whenever people do the right thing for animals it gives me a little more energy to continue on. I remember one case where a man found an opossum in his garage. He reached into a box without looking, and promptly got bitten by a startled opossum who had found himself a nice place to sleep. The bite wasn’t serious, but the health department is very strict about mammal bites because of the risk of rabies, which is fatal in humans without treatment. Usually, we are forced to euthanize the animal to test for rabies, which drives us nuts because rabies is actually very rare in most species around here. But, of course it’s understandable that the health department wants to keep tabs because we could have an outbreak at any time. This opossum was clearly healthy and acting in normally, so we offered to quarantine as an alternative (which we always do) but since a human was bitten we didn’t have much hope. Going that route means you have to get rabies shots, because you don’t know if you’ve been exposed or not. But the man who was bitten called everyone he could and said he would do whatever it took—he didn’t want the opossum killed for his mistake! We’ve never had anyone do that before. So the opossum got free room and board for a month and was released because he never showed any signs of illness. [Ed.: That’s one of the best stories we’ve ever heard about humans. Usually we are THE WORST! Side note: Was this man cute? Single??]

Any tips on what we should do if we find wounded or sick wildlife?
In the Bay Area, you can always call WildCare and we can help you determine if it is indeed an emergency and who the nearest rehabilitator is: 415-456-SAVE (7283). Many times babies are “kidnapped” by well-meaning people! We can also determine if a reunite is possible in the case of babies.
Often the first impulse is to take an injured animal to a veterinarian, but there’s usually a charge and more importantly, most have no special training for wildlife. At WildCare, we have technicians and wildlife veterinarians who care for our wild patients.
If you find an animal that is obviously injured and you can capture them safely, keep them in a secure box or kennel with air holes. The things to remember are to keep the 
animal WARM, DARK, and QUIET. Babies especially can get chilled easily; put a heating pad under half of the box. Don’t try to feed or give water—sometimes that can do more harm than good and many species have very specific needs.

Can just anyone foster wild animals? How do we go about doing that?
No. Rehabilitators have lots of permits and conditions that need to be met. It is illegal for members of the public to keep wildlife (you can rescue, though!). If you volunteer at a local wildlife center, you will be able to care for the animals under the center’s permit. Many centers offer training classes to prepare you for foster care.

Do you have any companion animals? Where are they from?

Yes! Roshi the Russian tortoise came into WildCare and needed a forever home, since he’s not from these parts. My cat Brewster is from a shelter in Los Angeles, and Pippie the cat was rescued by my veterinarian after being hit by a car. Pedro and Maggie are Rocket Dogs!

Do you have any super cute photos of animals to share with us? 
You can check out WildCare’s website for videos and photos!

What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
 Every day I have a new favorite animal! But, I especially adore crows.

Favorite vegan cookbook?
I rarely cook from cookbooks, but one that I have made a ton from is Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World!

I know you’ve been doing a lot of baking and cooking lately! What’s your favorite vegan dish to make? What about for a vegan bakesale?
Since I’ve discovered Daiya cheese I’ve been making a mean mac ‘n cheese casserole but generally I’m big on making soups from scratch, especially heirloom tomato soup. For bakesales, just about anything from my cupcake cookbook. The carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe is amazing!

Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant? 
Cornmeal crusted oyster mushrooms at Millennium!

Favorite vegan restaurant?

I love Native Foods in Southern California, Candle 79 in New York City, and in the Bay Area, Millennium. I think Candle 79 trumps them all, though. SEITAN PICCATA—fuggedaboutit!

You’re going to the Farm Sanctuary California Hoe Down THIS SATURDAY (EVERYONE GO!!!!), who are you most excited to pet/hang out with?? 
PIGS!!! Love me some pigs. Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web made me vegetarian.

Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
ANYTIME.

Our gift to Livia: A damned cute pig named Edgar from Pig Peace Sanctuary. Enjoy the cuteness!

*there are more awesome interviews on the site but our search is for shit and hopefully we can fix that soon but who knows, I’m only so good at my “job.”

01/26/2010

“ What was interesting was that most people actually preferred the vegan cupcakes to the regular cupcakes and many people said that they liked both cupcakes evenly. „

Cupcake Blogger (I love/hate that such a category of blogger exists) Rite of Cake challenged a group of 50 women to try vegan and non-vegan cupcakes (A TRUE PEPSI CHALLENGE!) and report back on which one they preferred. Well, see above. BAM, BITCHES!

In even more awesome news, it was a Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World recipe vs. a Martha Stewart recipe. So what it comes down to is that a couple chicks from Brooklyn are better than the Queen of Clean, or whatever her ridiculous nickname is.

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